Cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon William Beeson, clinical professor at Indiana University School of Medicine, offers 4 essential steps to getting the best results from your elective surgery.
- Know your anesthesia number. Reason: Procedures that involve sedation carry an inherent degree of risk based on one’s health, age, and medical history. First, confirm that a certified expert will perform your anesthesia. Then, request your ranking on a six-tier scale used by doctors and nurse anesthetists to assess and limit anesthesia risk. Finally, ask about pre-op lab tests to verify that your body can process anesthesia drugs properly.
- Come clean about any pills you take. Reason: Your health is at stake. To avoid dangerous interactions, provide and discuss with the anesthesiologist a complete listing of your prescription and over-the-counter medications. Be sure to include vitamins, herbs, supplements, eye drops—everything.
- Search for certificates. Reason: Not all surgical facilities are created equal. Make sure the surgical facility is Medicare-certified or accredited by the Joint Commission, AAAHC (Accredited Association for Ambulatory Health Care), AAAASF (American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities), or HFAP (Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program). Look for credentials on the wall or ask for proof at the front desk.
- Quiz your surgeon. Reason: Unfortunately, there is no “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” for physicians. Here are some questions to help you evaluate an individual’s education, training, and current competency:
- How many (fill in the blank) procedures do you perform on an annual basis? (Tip: The more the better.)
- Where do you have credentials to perform the surgery? (Tip: Hospitals and surgery centers have credentialing committees to ensure an individual is qualified to perform that particular procedure. Consider it a red flag if the physician can only perform surgery in their office facility.)
- Do you participate in medical education programs? (Tip: Physicians on “the cutting edge” of their field often lecture and teach medical students and residents.)
Click here for more information and a video from the American Academy of Dermatology about selecting the right doctor for cosmetic procedures.